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Authorities permit UNMISS to operate freely in Gbudue state

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September 19, 2016 (YAMBIO) – Authorities of the newly created Gbudue state in Western Equatoria region have allowed patrol teams of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to operate freely in the state following earlier restrictions.

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UN peacekeepers in South Sudan with one of their helicopters (UNMISS)

Council of Ministers regular meeting which was held on Friday last week in the state said it had declared free movement for UNMISS to resume their normal patrols as usual.

In a press statement issued by the minister of Information, Culture and youth in the capital, Yambio, Joseph Natale Sabun, he said Gbudue state government unanimously permitted UNMISS to conduct patrols in the region without fear and no one should stop them.

“To cooperate fully with UNMISS, Gbudue State Government has authorized UNMISS to freely organize their programs to visit any area to monitor security situation in the State without any problem.” Joseph Sabuni stated.

Sabuni urged citizens in the State not to panic if UNMISS is visiting counties and all villages in the state, saying that they are not enemy but friend.

He continued to emphasize and welcome government officials and citizens in Yambio town to come in big numbers to attend the International Day for Peace which is being organized by UNMISS of which speeches; sports activities and live band will be performed in Yambio Freedom Square.

The statement to permit UNMISS comes after the mission had been denied access to most areas in Gbudue state on several occasions for the past three months during which the state government accused the peace keepers of allegedly failing to protect citizens during the recent conflict in Yambio and in other areas in Western Equatoria.

The state minister of information also revealed that the decision came following an appeal to the government of South Sudan by the high level delegation of the United Nation Security Council which visited South Sudan recently, and after several meeting with the authority of UNMISS in Yambio.

He said the security situation has normalized in most of the areas in the state, giving chance to partners to go to those areas to deliver services to the citizens who were displaced by the conflict and are in dire humanitarian situation.

Road from Yambio to Ezo and Tombura which was blocked by the armed youth who entered the bush has been opened by the government and it is safe now for any to go to those counties, according to the authorities.

The government has owed the relative peace in the area to its efforts to offer amnesty to the armed youth to come home peacefully, adding that over 300 former youth fighters have surrendered to the government both in Yambio and in Ezo counties.

(ST)

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